Title - 'A Place In The Sun: The Complete Jason Crest'
Artist - Jason Crest
In the late Sixties, the major UK labels – keen to stay abreast of the times without quite understanding what was going on – signed a number of bands that combined the adventurism and surrealism of psychedelia with a concise, radio-friendly pop sensibility.
One or two went on to fame and fortune, but the majority failed to find the hit single that would have given them the chance to build and sustain a career.
Kent outfit Jason Crest are one of the most admired of those bands, issuing a handful of singles while also recording a batch of tracks – ‘King Of The Castle’, ‘Charge Of The Light Brigade’, ‘My House Is Burning’ and others – that were arguably even more commercial and accomplished but which, for some unfathomable reason, were rejected by the men in suits.
The just-released 2CD set, A Place In The Sun assembles all their recorded work in one place for the first time, with the group’s five singles joined by that clutch of superior studio outtakes and, gaining their first-ever CD release, two radio sessions that were independently recorded in the late Sixties prior to the group evolving into Island signings High Broom.
Featuring cult classics ‘Black Mass’, ‘Turquoise Tandem Cycle’ and, of course, the Moody Blues-style title track, A Place In The Sun is a newly remastered digipak release of the highest order.
1. 'Turquoise Tandem Cycle'
2. 'Teagarden Lane'
3. 'Patricia's Dream'
4. 'A Place In The Sun'
5. 'My House Is Burning'
6. 'King Of The Castle'
7. 'The Collected Works of Justin Crest'
8. 'Black Mass'
9. 'Charge of the Light Brigade'
10. '(Here We Go Round The) Lemon Tree'
11. 'You Really Got A Hold On Me'
12. 'Two By The Sea'
13. 'Juliano Bull'
15. 'Waterloo Road'
16. 'Good Life'
17. 'Black Mass' (Dubious Mix Version)
1. 'Hold On'
2. 'A Hazy Shade of Winter'
3. 'Fresh Garbage'
4. 'California Dreamin''
5. 'Paint It Black'
6. 'What's It Like?'
7. 'Come Together'
8. 'It's A Way To Pass The Time'
9. 'Good Times, Bad Lines'
10. 'Better By You, Better Than Me'
11. 'Percy's On The Run'
If not an obscure, definitely a lesser known late '60's, short-lived psychedelic band, Jason Crest just never got even close to the break they truly deserved.
Apparently, this 28-track compilation is a everything that the ensemble from Kent ever recorded, but that said, there are still some rather brilliant Radio Sessions 1968-69 to be found on vinyl (that features several of the band's own material), so do please check that album out.
Personally, I just (and still) cannot get enough of the beautiful opener 'Turquoise Tandem Cycle' (which has been likened in feel to Status Quo's 'Pictures of Matchstick Men'), the Beatles-like 'Teagarden Lane', 'Patricia's Dream', the stellar 'A Place In The Sun' (with great harmony and flute work), and their Roy [The Move] Wood's '(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree.'
Other brilliant cuts are their Smokey Robinson cover of 'You Really Got A Hold On Me' and the melodic ambiance of 'Two By The Sea', but, for me, the best track is 'Black Mass'. The plaintive opening grabs you immediately and Terry Clark's shift from sung vocal to nightmarish scream is inspired (naturally, it was considered too frightening for the airwaves!)
As for the second disc, we get quite a few covers, such as a their take on Simon & Garfunkel's 'A Hazy Shade of Winter,' a lush cover of The Mamas & the Papas' 'California Dreamin',' and loving renditions of both the Stones' 'Paint It Black' and the Beatles' 'Come Together.'
Which all come together to ensure that fans of early Who, 1967-68 Beatles, World Of Oz, and even Kaleidoscope, will find this 2CD set a must-have!
This 2CD set also includes a 24 page booklet containing the band’s full story, including quotes from lead singer and chief songwriter Terry Clark and drummer Roger Siggery, as well as a profusion of rare memorabilia and photos.
In closing, A Place In the Sun is the final word on a band that, given average luck and a following wind as well as an even semi-competent record company, would have been huge.